By September 22, 2008 Read More →

Low Coolant Light Troubleshooting

Greetings Austin

Enjoy your site very much!

I recently bought a Volvo that had been sitting for 2 years. When I started it up the coolant light came on immediately, so I added about 1 qt to the reservoir (all it would take). The light went out, and I drove it only a mile or so. The next time I started it up, the light was on again, but I drove about 3 or 4 miles at fairly low speed, 35-45, to gas it. When I got back, I tried to take the cap off the reservoir, but it boiled over. When it cooled and I removed the cap, it again took @ 1 qt or less to bring the level to MAX.

Does a stuck thermostat sound like the cause? Or is something else more likely?

J. Darcy
Arcata, Calif.


Hey there J. Darcy,

You did not mention anything about the temperature gauge reading high or the engine overheating? So, since those two issues are not a factor I can only assume you have a small coolant leak in the system somewhere. So the first thing to do in this situation is get a “cooling system pressure test” to help locate the leak. Your car requires a special adapter to screw onto the plastic reservoir and not all repair shops will have it so ask them first if they do so they can properly diagnose the problem.

That car has some special formed heater hoses that are notorious for leaking, and if the radiator and heater hoses are original they are past due for replacement. Hopefully your leak is something simple like this and not the water pump or radiator.

Please keep me posted as to what you find out will ya?


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."

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